Shahidi Becomes First Afghan Batsman to Score Test Double Ton
In the 2nd Test match against the visiting Zimbabwe team, Hashmatullah Shahidi scored 200 not out, becoming the first Afghan batsman to hit a double ton and only the third, after Asghar Afghan, the Afghan captain, and Rahmat Shah to register a Test century. On a wicket that was as flat as a pancake, Afghanistan went beyond 500 to record the 5th-highest Test score in Abu Dhabi.
Shahidi Celebrates Return to Afghan Squad
In November 2019, Shahidi was excluded from the team for a Test match versus West Indies. His critics said that he was weak against short-pitched bowling and that he did not score quickly enough. In the latest innings, Shahidi did not give evidence of either weakness. He paced his innings well and played convincingly against a three-pronged fast bowling attack, particularly against the over-two-metres-tall Blessing Muzarabani the length of whose average delivery was shorter than that of most bowlers.
Shahidi, Afghan Torment Zimbabwe Bowlers
On the second day of the match, Afghanistan resumed their innings with the scorecard reading 307/3 and with Asghar Afghan on 106 and Shahidi on 86. After a challenging first hour in which they saw off Muzarabani and Victor Nyauchi while scoring just 23 runs in the process, the batsmen began to score with ease. Shahidi marked his hundred with a drive through point and hammered both Sean Williams and Donald Tiripano to the fence. With Shahidi on 112, Williams dropped a shoulder-high return catch. In his next over, Williams should have had the wicket of Afghan when Kevin Kasuza dropped a simple catch at cover. Afghan thrived after the dropped catch to reach 164 before he was trapped in front of the wicket by Sikandar Raza after having scored what was at that point Afghanistan’s highest individual Test score.
Historic Moment Celebrated
Not much later, Shahidi drew level with a boundary to long on off a full toss from Williams and overtook his skipper with a single to the same region. Afghanistan went into the post-tea session with Shahidi and Nasir Jamal at the crease. The batsmen began to score more briskly as a declaration appeared likely. A cover drive against Ryan Burl’s bowling by Shahidi took the score past 500. Jamal got to his first test fifty before Shahidi got to his double ton.
He took off for his 200th run after nudging a ball square and Jamal began the celebrations even as he ran from the non-striker’s end and the teammates and support staff applauded from the pavilion. But that was the cue for the declaration by Afghanistan, leaving Zimbabwe to negotiate 17 overs before play ended on day two.
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